ATLANTA, Ga., May 2 – AAHOA, in partnership with Polaris, a global leader in the fight against
modern slavery, launched a new digital training for members and their employees that focuses on raising
awareness of human trafficking in the hospitality industry. The AAHOA Human Trafficking Awareness
Training (HTAT) is available exclusively to AAHOA’s nearly 18,000 members and the over 600,000
employees at member properties at no cost.
“Hoteliers have a moral imperative to prevent human trafficking at their properties,” said AAHOA
Chairman Hitesh (HP) Patel. “Unfortunately, the privacy and anonymity that are inherent in the hotel
industry, as well as the frequent turnover of clientele, make hotels an attractive venue for criminals
looking to exploit trafficking victims. This new training developed with Polaris will go a long way to help
hoteliers and their employees identify the signs of sex and labor trafficking, assist victims, and work with
law enforcement to keep this criminal activity out of our communities.”
Patel made his remarks today in Houston, Texas, where he participated in a roundtable discussion about
raising awareness of and preventing human trafficking. The roundtable, hosted by House Homeland
Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), also included representatives from the Department of
Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign and Polaris.
“This training is a vital tool in the fight against sex trafficking and forced labor,” said Joe Racalto,
Director of Government Relations at Polaris. “Education is one of the keys to ending modern slavery and
restoring freedom and dignity to survivors. By making it freely available to so many hoteliers and hotel
workers, we can quickly raise awareness of the issue.”
The AAHOA Human Trafficking Awareness Training provides an overview of sex and labor trafficking,
discusses red flags, and provides case examples. Participants are also informed about appropriate steps to
respond to suspected instances of trafficking. Upon completion of the training, participants earn a
certificate which may satisfy state and/or local training requirements.
“With a membership that owns about one in every two hotels across the United States, AAHOA is
capitalizing on that reach to promote education and awareness of human trafficking. This important
training not only focuses on sex trafficking, but also on labor trafficking, which can be difficult to spot.
Being a conscientious employer means understanding how labor brokers and recruiters exploit workers
and requesting supply chain transparency to ensure that no one is being forced to work against his or her
will. Hoteliers are uniquely positioned to disrupt the criminal networks and individuals that exploit
society’s most vulnerable through human trafficking, and they can save lives in the process,” said
AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers.
AAHOA Human Trafficking Awareness Training is available through AAHOA’s website
(http://www.aahoa.com/htat/). Non-members can register for and complete the training by either renewing
their AAHOA membership or joining the association.